Progressive-era "poverty warriors" cast poverty in America as a problem of unemployment, low wages, labor exploitation, and political disfranchisement. In the 1990s, policy specialists made "dependency" the issue and crafted incentives to get people off welfare. Poverty Knowledge gives the first comprehensive historical account of the thinking behind these very different views of "the poverty problem," in a century-spanning inquiry into the politics, institutions, ideologies, and social science that shaped poverty research and policy. Alice O'Connor chronicles a transformation in the study of poverty, from a reform-minded inquiry into the political economy of industrial capitalism to a detached, highly technical analysis of the demographic and behavioral characteristics of the poor. Along the way, she uncovers the origins of several controversial concepts, including the "culture of poverty" and the "underclass." She shows how such notions emerged not only from trends within the social sciences, but from the central preoccupations of twentieth-century American liberalism: economic growth, the Cold War against communism, the changing fortunes of the welfare state, and the enduring racial divide. The book details important changes in the politics and organization as well as the substance of poverty knowledge. Tracing the genesis of a still-thriving poverty research industry from its roots in the War on Poverty, it demonstrates how research agendas were subsequently influenced by an emerging obsession with welfare reform. Over the course of the twentieth century, O'Connor shows, the study of poverty became more about altering individual behavior and less about addressing structural inequality. The consequences of this steady narrowing of focus came to the fore in the 1990s, when the nation's leading poverty experts helped to end "welfare as we know it." O'Connor shows just how far they had traveled from their field's original aims.
The Philosophy of Social Science: A Contemporary Introduction examines the perennial questions of philosophy by engaging with the empirical study of society. The book offers a comprehensive overview of debates in the field, with special attention to questions arising from new research programs in the social sciences. The text uses detailed examples of social scientific research to motivate and illustrate the philosophical discussion. Topics include the relationship of social policy to social science, interpretive research, action explanation, game theory, social scientific accounts of norms, joint intentionality, reductionism, causal modeling, case study research, and experimentation.
The concept of public action is a magnifying lens for shedding light on the plurality of institutional and social actors interacting in policies. Taking into account a changing social world that is redefining the State and its instruments, it is well suited for picking out transformations that have been affecting European social policies for some twenty years or so now: the territorial reorganization of powers; the spread of a public-private mix in the provision of services; the rise of new forms of collaborative governance; the institutionalization of the European agenda on social investment. This book examines social policies as normative and cognitive devices that contribute to organizing social life and are themselves moulded and redefined by it. The perspective of public action is located where it is possible to observe how these devices come into action, the powers and interests they help mobilize and the dynamics they generate. Policies thus appear as a tangle of rather diverse processes in which the erosion of the ‘social’ coexists with the emergence of innovative forms of social organization. Public action is the key tool that helps to deal with this tangle by posing the following questions. What vocabularies, significances and practices are set in motion by the ‘social’ today? What are the resources that fuel it? What powers are deployed in it?
This book is a "working text," designed to help students complete a real-world policy analysis and action plan through step-by-step worksheets. The text prepares students for policy practice in a way that no other current text is able to do. They leave the classroom armed with step-by-step instructions on how to analyze policy, construct alternatives, select alternatives, develop proposals, and construct action plans.
Gil examines social problems from a holistic, transdisciplinary perspective and provides a model and methodology which attempts a rational and systematic appraisal of social policies. His linkage of social policy with human biology and the history of mankind provides a framework and background of social policy seldom mentioned in the many books on social policy published in the last two decades.--Back cover.
Influencing Social Policy synthesizes current knowledge about how psychologists influence social policy to serve the public interest. The volume builds upon interviews with 79 applied psychologists about their experiences in the policy domain, with special focus on the work of applied developmental psychologists, applied social psychologists, and community psychologists. Additional foundations of the volume include a review of social science scholarship across a wide range of disciplines, and author Kenneth Maton's 30 years of teaching on the topic, including frequent interactions with Washington, DC, policy experts. Together, these sources provide in-depth information about how applied psychologists influence social policy, the factors that contribute to their success, the challenges they face, and the approaches used to address those challenges. The policy influences described span all three branches of government: legislative, executive, and judicial. The policy content areas are diverse, including the death penalty prohibition for adolescents, early childhood education, gay marriage, gender discrimination in the workplace, health and mental health care reform, homelessness, home visiting programs, sexually abused child witness treatment, status offender diversion from the juvenile justice system, substance abuse prevention, and many others. Influencing Social Policy is a must-have resource for graduate students and professionals in a wide variety of disciplines with interests in influencing social policy, including psychology, education, public health, social work, policy studies, anthropology, and sociology.
For the past two decades, ‘complexity’ has informed a range of work across the social sciences. There are diverse schools of complexity thinking, and authors have used these ideas in a multiplicity of ways, from health inequalities to the organization of large scale firms. Some understand complexity as emergence from the rule-based interactions of simple agents and explore it through agent-based modelling. Others argue against such ‘restricted complexity’ and for the development of case-based narratives deploying a much wider set of approaches and techniques. Major social theorists have been reinterpreted through a complexity lens and the whole methodological programme of the social sciences has been recast in complexity terms. In four parts, this book seeks to establish ‘the state of the art’ of complexity-informed social science as it stands now, examining: the key issues in complexity theory the implications of complexity theory for social theory the methodology and methods of complexity theory complexity within disciplines and fields. It also points ways forward towards a complexity-informed social science for the twenty-first century, investigating the argument for a post-disciplinary, ‘open’ social science. Byrne and Callaghan consider how this might be developed as a programme of teaching and research within social science. This book will be particularly relevant for, and interesting to, students and scholars of social research methods, social theory, business and organization studies, health, education, urban studies and development studies.
The Handbook of Social Policy is an attempt to document the now substantial body of knowledge about government social policies that has been accumulated since the study of social policy first emerged as an organized field of academic endeavor about 50 years ago. The Second Edition offers a more streamlined format to make the book more consistent with the way most instructors teach their courses. This text is a comprehensive yet accessible introduction to a vast field of endeavor that has, over the years, made a significant difference to the lives and the well-being of the people of the United States.
The impact agenda is set to shape the way in which social scientists prioritise the work they choose to pursue, the research methods they use and how they publish their findings over the coming decade, but how much is currently known about how social science research has made a mark on society? Based on a three year research project studying the impact of 360 UK-based academics on business, government and civil society sectors, this groundbreaking new book undertakes the most thorough analysis yet of how academic research in the social sciences achieves public policy impacts, contributes to economic prosperity, and informs public understanding of policy issues as well as economic and social changes. The Impact of the Social Sciences addresses and engages with key issues, including: identifying ways to conceptualise and model impact in the social sciences developing more sophisticated ways to measure academic and external impacts of social science research explaining how impacts from individual academics, research units and universities can be improved. This book is essential reading for researchers, academics and anyone involved in discussions about how to improve the value and impact of funded research. You can read a snapshot of the results, Visualising the Data, free online. To download a PDF click here, or to browse a flipbook, click here.
Quantitative research in social science research is changing rapidly. Researchers have vast and complex arrays of data with which to work: we have incredible tools to sift through the data and recognize patterns in that data; there are now many sophisticated models that we can use to make sense of those patterns; and we have extremely powerful computational systems that help us accomplish these tasks quickly. This book focuses on some of the extraordinary work being conducted in computational social science - in academia, government, and the private sector - while highlighting current trends, challenges, and new directions. Thus, Computational Social Science showcases the innovative methodological tools being developed and applied by leading researchers in this new field. The book shows how academics and the private sector are using many of these tools to solve problems in social science and public policy.
Examine alternative strategies to resolving important Latino social issues! Latino Social Policy: A Participatory Research Model examines the failure of traditional research methods to address major social needs in Latino communities, promoting instead a participatory/action approach to research that is socially—and scientifically—meaningful. Experts from a variety of disciplines focus on nontraditional strategies that engage community residents in community-research projects, shortening the distance between the researcher and the “subject.” This unique book recounts lessons learned on conducting Participatory Action Research (PAR) in Latino communities using techniques based on anthropology, education, community health and evaluation, and urban planning. Latino Social Policy: A Participatory Research Model addresses non-traditional methods of reducing the tension between the reality of interaction with the subject community and the academic training structures used by researchers. The book promotes a new vision and practice of research design in which the “subject” is central to the process, advocating a participatory approach to produce qualitatively different research based on community identified problems and needs. Contributors examine the value of integrating local knowledge, language, and culture into the methodological design, the ethics of conducting research in Latino communities, and the internal conflicts Chicana/o researchers face within their profession and in the field. Topics addressed in Latino Social Policy: A Participatory Research Model include: community health and Central Americans in Los Angeles ethnography and substance abuse among transnational Mexican farmworkers identity and field research in Mexico the Latino Coalition for a New Los Angeles (LCNLA) researcher/community partnerships and much more! Latino Social Policy: A Participatory Research Model includes case studies, ethnographies, and vignettes that illustrate participatory approaches and outcomes in Latino research. The book is equally valuable as a textbook for academics and students working in the social sciences, public policy, and urban planning, and as a professional guide for community leaders and organizations interested in developing research partnerships.
This book highlights the variety of ways in which sociology brings about social change in community settings, assists nonprofit and social service organizations in their work, and influences policy at the local, regional, and national levels. It also spotlights sociology that informs the general public on key policy issues through media and creates research centers that develop and carry out collaborative research. The book details a broad range of sociology projects. The 33 case studies are divided into 8 sections. Each section also includes sidebars of include non-sociologists writing about the impact of selected research projects. In some cases these are interdisciplinary projects since solutions to social problems are often multifaceted and do not fit into the disciplines as defined by universities. Further, it emphasizes actions and connections. This is not armchair sociology where self-proclaimed public sociologists just write articles suggesting what government, corporations, communities, or others "ought to do." The authors are interested in the active connections to publics and users of the research, not the passive research process.
The dynamics of everyday life in the 21st century provides fertile ground for the resurgence of the importance of sociology. In this technologically driven, diverse, but interconnected global society, the study of social life, social change, communities and the quest to find empirical answers to complex social questions has re-emerged as a critical component to navigating the uncharted waters of a shifting social world and new social problems. Social Scientists are the ones who contribute the solutions to the issues that present themselves in the public domain. Discussions of gender, sexuality and identity, youth and popular culture, family life, globalisation, and a changing political landscape all inform the development of social institutions and the shaping of social policy, politics and public life. In Pathways to Action, the contributors, all experts in their fields, examine the contemporary social challenges in the Caribbean in the areas of demographic transition, early childhood development, health, poverty, labour policies and ageing, and put forward recommendations for sustainable social development. The shifting paradigms over the past 50 years since political independence are reviewed and examined in an international, regional and local context to showcase the development of social policy in the Caribbean in general and Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago in particular. The emerging recommendations, proposed to enhance the human development of the Caribbean citizenry, are valuable not only to researchers and policy analysts, but are also of practical importance to those engaged in social institutions, both large and small, whether they be commercial entities, NGOs, governance forums or political bodies. Pathways to Action provides a foundation for understanding the shifting social world and meeting the challenges peculiar to the Caribbean.
Divided into two parts, this book examines the train of social theory from the 19th century, through to the 'organization of modernity', in relation to ideas of social planning, and as contributors to the 'rationalistic revolution' of the 'golden age' of capitalism in the 1950s and 60s. Part two examines key concepts in the social sciences. It begins with some of the broadest concepts used by social scientists: choice, decision, action and institution and moves on to examine the 'collectivist alternative': the concepts of society, culture and polity, which are often dismissed as untenable by postmodernists today. This is a major contribution to contemporary social theory and provides a host of essential insights into the task of social science today.
Science and Social Work is a critical appraisal of the strategies and methods that have been used to develop knowledge for social work practice. It identifies the major ways in which social workers have drawn upon scientific knowledge and techniques, placing each one in historical perspective by explaining the nature of the problems it was designed to solve and the philosophical, political, and practical questions it raised. Kirk and Reid offer a balanced appraisal of the promises, accomplishments, and limits of such approaches, demonstrating how the fruits of scientific research can aid clinical practice with individuals, families and groups.
This book is for students and researchers across the social sciences who are planning, conducting and disseminating research on sustainability-related issues. Real-world sustainability problems cross many boundaries, and this is the first book to guide students and practitioners through the practical and theoretical challenges of doing interdisciplinary research in this vital and emerging area. Researching Sustainability contains many in-depth, 'hands on' accounts by expert contributors, providing real-life examples and lessons that can be put to use immediately. Coverage includes: the general challenges that sustainability presents to researchers, including frictions between sustainability and scientific tradition; complexity; research paradigms; interdisciplinarity; social-environmental interactions; and ethical concerns. a host of social science based research methods and approaches. Each chapter presents a different method; its challenges and suitability for different situations; an in-depth example of the method in action; insights and lessons. dissemination of sustainability research findings, including influencing policy, communicating with school children and working with the media. The book concludes with a critical synthesis of issues and methods examined in the book together with a discussion of future research pathways. This book is an essential tool for students, researchers and practitioners in planning, implementing and evaluating their sustainability research.
It is argued that the conception of social science emerging today is one that involves a synthesis of radical constructivism and critical realism. The crucial challenge facing social science is a question of its public role: growing reflexivity in society has implications for the social production of knowledge and is bringing into question the separation of expert systems from other forms of knowledge.
This collection of recent essays by the influential sociologist Herbert J. Gans brings together the many themes of Gans’s wide-ranging career to make the case for a policy-oriented vision for sociology. Sociology and Social Policy explicates and helps solve social problems by presenting a range of studies on what people, institutions, and social structures do with, for, and against one another. These works from across Gans’s areas of interest—the city, poverty, ethnicity, employment and political economy, and the relationship between race and class—together make a powerful call to action for the field of sociology.

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